Volunteer for the Elk Bugle Corp in Cataloochee

Donna with Antlers - 090523

You’ve always wondered. How can I volunteer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? How can I wear the cool uniform? Not the green and gray but still cool. Here’s your chance.

Great
Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking volunteers to assist rangers with
managing traffic and providing visitor information on responsible elk viewing
practices in Cataloochee, NC.

Cataloochee
is a remote mountain valley on the eastern edge of the Park where remnants of
early settlements are preserved. Surrounded by mountain peaks, the isolated
valley is a popular, year-round destination. Elk were reintroduced in
Cataloochee in 2001 as part of an experimental release to determine if an elk
herd could sustain itself in the Park after a 200-year absence. Approximately
140 elk now live in the self-sustaining herd. 

Each
volunteer is asked to work at least two scheduled, four-hour shifts per month
starting the second week in May and continuing through November.  This
target period is during high visitor use from late spring during the elk
calving season through the end of the fall color and elk mating season.

Volunteers
will spend time roving the valley in a zero-emission electric vehicle or by
bike. Volunteers who prefer to rove by bike are required to bring their own
bicycle and protective riding gear. Bike patrol volunteers will rove along the
road through the valley which is mostly flat with very little change in
elevation. 

If
you’re interested in volunteering or would like more information about the
program, please contact Park Ranger Pete Walker at (828) 506-1739.

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